Combating The False Hopes of Next Year’s Budget
“Our customer is DEFINITELY going to assign budget and buy next year”
We hear this relayed to us time and again from entrepreneurs and sales leaders alike. The customer loves the product or service but there just isn’t the budget to do anything this year. There is next year! Update your pipeline forecast and you know you can bank it for the future!
Or can you?
The new normal for company budgets
Due to Covid, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, [insert next catastrophic event here], the era of budgets being set in stone in September for the following year is now over. If a yearly budget is set, you can bet your salary that it won’t be stuck to for longer than a few months due to the changing economic climate.
The new normal is budgets are still being set in September, but being rehashed every three months or so, to accommodate whichever game-changing global event has happened in the interim.
Unfortunately, the promise of next year’s budget has become fantasy, a promise that exists until… suddenly it doesn’t.
The big question here is:
If it’s a priority for next year, and the outcome will positively impact their business enough to make the budget list - why not today?
When you are told next year is the year for your deal to be signed, don’t take this as an indication that it actually will sign (chances are it won’t), take this as an indication that you need to go back to the drawing board, get your MEDDIC playbook out, and qualify I (Identified Pain), M (Metrics) & C (your Champion) again.
MEDDIC methodology refresh
I – Identified Pain.
- How did you identify the pain?
- What are the implications of that pain?
- Who do those implications fall on and to what extent do they have an effect?
- How did you qualify this?
If you have sufficiently worked through identifying the customer pain as something that URGENTLY needs addressing, not something that would be nice to have, you will not be concerning yourself with next year’s budget. You will be assigned someone else’s budget THIS YEAR.
Therefore, the first time you hear the words “next year”, take this as your cue to delve back into your customer’s pain. Because right now they think it’s a papercut and you need to find, and convey to your customer, that their pain is akin to an amputation, an amputation that you can put a stop to.
Budgets get assigned to stopping legs getting amputated.
Budgets don’t get assigned to addressing a little papercut.
M – Metrics
- Numbers establish credibility - internally and externally.
- Numbers quantify the pain that you have just spent your time and energy identifying and qualifying.
- Numbers justify the ‘why now’ - your business case and the value of your solution.
If you haven’t managed to properly convey the upside of buying your solution to your customer, your deal won’t close. You might be told it will be signed next year, but believe us, it won’t.
In this case, you haven’t used metrics to their full capacity.
Identifying their pain is only the start. Using metrics to show how much more successful their business will be after implementing your solution is when you start tying in your customer’s success with your success. This is when you start operating outside of a traditional budget cycle.
It’s a hard carrot to ignore when presented with a business case full of metrics showing how someone will achieve their healthy bonus based on buying, and implementing, your software solution.
C – Champion
We have said it before and we will continue to say it:
A DEAL WITHOUT A CHAMPION WILL NOT CLOSE
With this in mind, is your Champion really a Champion? And if you are sure, are they your Champion?
Be honest with yourself.
Go back and read the definition in our article - beware labelling champions - on this subject and compare your Champion with this.
As hard as it is to admit it, more often than not when a deal is being kicked into next year, you haven’t identified and built a Champion.
By definition, a Champion is someone who effects change.
If you have:
- identified their pain
- qualified it with the right metrics
- identified and built your Champion knowing you can solve this pain,
your change-maker should be moving heaven and earth to get the deal signed. If they are not, they are not your Champion.
After you have gone back and refreshed your memory on the MEDDIC definition of a Champion, and the person you have been working with fits the bill, have a think about what you can do to build them into your Champion:
- Can you provide them with any industry knowledge that would help them in their career?
- Are you making sure that you are always doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it?
- Are you working with your Champion to align their goals with yours?
If you have decided that you have a coach rather than a Champion working with you on your deal, you are going to have to go back to the drawing board and find yourself a Champion.
Don’t be disheartened by having to go back a few steps - a signature on a contract is your reward, not just the promise of one.
If you are interested in new ideas, inspir’em sales meeting exercises and lesson plans are available to continue the development journey of your teams.
Contact us today to further boost your sales and see your revenue grow.
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